"We finally conquered Ebola" — Feeble attempt at irony? Or is Howie Kurtz really this fucking stupid –> https://t.co/QJK8lyEAmq
— Billmon (@billmon1) November 11, 2014
NYC Dr. Craig Spencer has gone home, virus-free, even if the media didn’t pay as much attention to his recovery as it did to his diagnosis. Thomas Duncan’s family has reached a settlement with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital — “Terms of settlement were not disclosed, but the family’s lawyer said it would be enough to care for Duncan’s parents and his four children, NBC News reported. The attorney also said the hospital wouldn’t charge the family for Duncan’s treatment…” Some of his family members still sound a little bitter. So does this guy..
Three weeks ago, it was a media and political frenzy. Today, not one person in U.S. is being treated for Ebola. #panicpeddling
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) November 11, 2014
But the epidemic has not yet been smothered in Africa. From the Washington Post, “Governments, groups striving to become as agile as the Ebola virus“:
The news out of West Africa in recent days — good and bad — has demonstrated a fundamental challenge in the fight against Ebola: The virus is more nimble than the human response to it. The landscape of infection and disease has changed dramatically in recent weeks, even as institutions have largely stuck to blueprints drafted months ago…
The first Ebola treatment unit built in Liberia by the U.S. military is expected to open in the coming days, about two months after President Obama announced that he would send troops to supplement the civilian effort against the disease. But even before that first ETU has become operational, Liberia has seen a sharp drop in new infections and has empty beds in Ebola wards. The new ETUs, temporary structures that can’t easily be used for anything else, may not treat many patients.
Up the coast of West Africa, Sierra Leone has made far less progress in the fight against Ebola. The country had three times as many new infections as Liberia in the most recent three-week monitoring period, according to the World Health Organization. The United States has sent troops to Liberia but not to Sierra Leone.
Guinea, the third West African country hit hard by the virus, is another landscape entirely. It is bigger than Liberia and Sierra Leone combined. There was a drop in cases in the capital, Conakry, over the summer, but the virus recently surfaced again in some neighborhoods. In addition, hot spots continue to pop up in remote places, and health workers still encounter community resistance.
As the epidemic enters this new phase, officials say the strategy must be more aggressive: looking for Ebola “brush fires” and recognizing that “sparks are igniting all over,” as Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview last week. The contagion has to be tracked to the last patient and obliterated lest it flare anew…
The Guardian reports on the “sharp rise” of new cases in Sierra Leone:
Official figures released by the minister of health and sanitation show there were 111 new cases registered on Sunday, the highest daily rate since the ministry started publishing figures in August.
There were 45 new cases the day before, including 24 in the capital, Freetown. Laboratory results for patients in Freetown, which include the new British army-built Ebola hospital, showed 40 new cases on Sunday.
There was also a spike in the number of cases in Port Loko, a district north of Freetown where there is still no treatment centre and where, until recently, corpses were left lying on verandahs, in hospitals and in houses for days before collection.
The figures come days after warnings by the UN that Ebola cases in Sierra Leone are being underreported by up to 50%. It is thought that some patients are still not turning up to hospital over fears that they will be turned away because there are no beds or that they will die isolated from their families…
With 596 confirmed cases and still no treatment centre, the rise in the number of cases in Port Loko will cause deep concern among medical aid agencies such as Médecins sans Frontières, International Medical Corps and the Red Cross, who have been pleading for more beds and resources since the beginning of August. The latest figures make Port Loko the third most affected of the 14 districts in the country…
Sarah Stillman, in the New Yorker, reports on “Ebola and the Culture Makers“:
Facely Camara, a young radio journalist, was eager to fight Ebola in his native Guinea. In mid-September, Camara joined a convoy of health workers and government officials heading to Womé, a village in Guinea’s densely forested southeast, where he intended to cover an Ebola-centered education and disinfection campaign for Zaly FM, a popular station. Before he left, his friends and relatives applauded him on Facebook: “A super Mr. Journalist,” they called him. “The future of the family.”
By the time the group returned, many of its original participants, including Camara and two other radio reporters, were corpses in the back of a rescue truck. They were killed not by Ebola but by a hostile mob reportedly suspicious of the government’s public-health interventions in Womé, and of its actions in the region generally. All three murdered journalists were trainees at Search for Common Ground, a conflict-resolution nonprofit that has worked in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia for more than fifteen years…
The mass killing in Womé presaged a concern that the Ebola outbreak is evolving from a public-health crisis into “a crisis for international peace and security,” as the World Health Organization’s director general, Margaret Chan, called it last month, from Geneva. This past spring, as Ebola spread across the region, S.C.G., which operates on four continents, began generating its own inventive community-by-community responses to the virus, to better tailor communications to local fears, strengths, and histories. The core of their approach has been to recruit not only standard public-health actors but also small-town preachers and soap-opera stars, taxi-drivers and town criers, local reporters and cameramen. What would it look like, they’ve asked, to fight Ebola with culture makers?…
S.C.G. is working closely with regional governments and global groups, but much of its staff is comprised of men and women in affected communities. The organization convenes groups in towns and neighborhoods for sessions structured like the conflict-resolution talks they’ve hosted for years. They start with questions, Jobbins said: “What are the top four or five reasons people here aren’t taking certain steps? What are the barriers? What are the blockages?” From there, a second round of work—what might be called Ebola-prevention craftsmanship—begins…
Given the varied challenges facing the region affected by the Ebola outbreak, community groups, artists, and social-media users across West Africa have also tried their best to experiment. In Freetown, Sierra Leone, groups are circulating informational YouTube videos via cell phones. In Lagos, Nigeria—a notable success story, as Michael Specter writes—Nollywood Workshops has recruited celebrities to make short video dramas about the virus. The episodes suggest how a new language of intimacy between romantic partners might help thwart the virus, and end with simple advice: “Stay calm, stay healthy.” S.C.G. is also recruiting motorcycle-taxi-drivers to distribute health information in hard-to-reach towns. Many of these men are ex-combatants. Jobbins said, “Nobody pays attention to them, nobody listens to them, but they have deep access to all these different communities,” including towns where government officials are too distrusted to enter safely or be heard…
And there are indeed success stories, as per the NYTimes:
Using old-fashioned detective work, public health workers in Mali, one of the world’s poorest nations, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, tracked and quarantined 108 people in two cities and a few roadside towns who may have had contact with a 2-year-old girl from Guinea who died of Ebola on Oct. 24…
A 21-day quarantine since the little girl’s death on Oct. 24 is almost over, and 41 of the 108 Malians in quarantine are due to be released Tuesday, and the remainder by Friday. Since none are showing symptoms, health officials are allowing themselves to hope that their quick response has kept Mali’s first outbreak to a single case.
If so, Mali will join Senegal and Nigeria in having proved yet again that rapid reactions can stop Ebola. In contrast, the initial outbreak in Guinea festered unaddressed for months before it exploded…
The case also illustrates how even people in close contact with victims do not necessarily get the disease, which spreads when infectious fluids get into an open cut, or a nose, eye or mouth.
Remarkably, no one in Mali who touched the girl, Fanta Condé, is yet sick. Not the woman she called her grandmother, her 5-year-old sister or her uncle, who all spent three days traveling with her from Beyla, Guinea. Not Dr. Abdouramane Koungoulba, the pediatrician who first examined her on Oct. 21, nor two traditional healers who saw her earlier, nor any of a dozen other doctors or nurses who gave her a transfusion and intravenous hydration and cleaned up her vomit and diarrhea in the 48 hours before she died.
Nor, apparently, are any of the dozens of bus passengers, taxi drivers, family friends or other contacts she had while traveling…
Some further news to disappoint the kneejerk “Obama Betrayed Us Personally Again Today” brigade:
It ain’t perfect, but it’s a solid step towards cleaning up the torture mess inflicted on us all by Bush and Cheney.
Okay, I realize that my depressing day is small potatoes next to Ebola, but I ran over a kitten today and feel like the worst person in the world. I was in a line of cars going down a busy street in Kapaa and didn’t see it until it was too late. Nowhere to swerve, no way to stop or even pull over afterwards. I feel like shit.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): We know you here, and we know you wouldn’t hurt a fly.
There’s no way to feel anything but down about what happened, Mnem. I feel wretched just reading your story. All you can do is acknowledge to yourself that it was an accident, not beat yourself up too much and be extra nice to the next cat you encounter.
An interesting, if somewhat depressing read- but the last section is actually hilarious:
Major Major Major Major
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): shit happens. Sorry I can’t be more eloquent. I’m sorry to hear that, very sorry, but an accident is an accident.
I’d feel bad too though, so sympathies and empathies to you of course
@hamletta:@Mnemosyne (iPhone): That happened to me with a dog years ago and I still feel bad about it, but it’s one of those things that you have no control over. The fault lies with whoever let the kitten out onto the road.
@Major Major Major Major:
Hey, Major * 4, how are you doing? The way things ended up with Dan Ha must have been a blow to you. Are you alright?
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): Me, same story last night, but with a skunk. And a skunk will tend to remind you of running over it. Also, their offspring are called kittens. And my fave cartoon character was Pepe LePew. All kinds of suck.
The Kurtz thing is just perfect, right? So long as no Americans are affected, we don’t even need to think about other, poorer nations, even though they could infect people traveling to the wealthy world.
Also: your upbeat report about Mali is sadly out of date.
I’m too stabby to go to the link, but am guessing that she finds herself yoked to the social set that will just a couple of years later be competing with each other to get into the best day care center that will likely propel their little hell spawn into Harvard.
No, not at all. The ending is actually very (unintentionally) funny and revealing of what lies under the PUA/MRA tough talk and general jerkitude.
Howie Kurtz – too hackish for even the Daily Beast, which is a rare achievement.
I can’t find the video that PBS/The New York Times did a month or so ago. Basically, a few days following a nurse in an ambulance in I believe Liberia. First off not sure I’ve ever, I mean ever seen a man as committed to his job. They talked to him for an extended period of time, and I am not that emotional of a guy, but there were tears running down my face. He said things like Ebola hunts him for the 15+ hours he works each day, seven days a week, and then also at night, the rare times he can sleep in his nightmares.
He showed the reporters that often he’d try to take people to hospitals and they were locked. His ambulance would have to serve as a hospital. He seemed to have no professional support and did everything, including sterilizing his ambulance each shift on his own with less tools than I have under my kitchen sink as we speak. He showed them staging areas, out of major metro areas, that literally looked like people put a few pieces of plywood leaning against each other. And the dead, they were everywhere. I know the WTO and others are trying to get an accurate count, but I have to believe the dead total many more factors than we know.
I knew things were bleak, horrible, I had no idea they were this bad.
This issue served just one purpose for the thug’s – attack Obama through fear – period. Now, the media whores have been told to drop the subject by their real God – the people that have the money; so the 0.001%(esp. Kock sucker brothers) don’t give a shit about the N-chang in Africa and … move along, nothing to see here.
Just dug into the details of this story at VOX (via Daily Kos) about how Obamacare premiums are falling by 0.2% across 48 major cities when open enrollment starts this Saturday. I will note this, and the reports vary, but on average healthcare costs were increasing about 11% percent in previous years, so the .2% number is actually kind of much larger than it looks. Oh and the ACA cost $104B LESS than the CBO estimated.
Last year I got a Bronze plan because frankly I have amazing health and unless I get hit by a car or something, I don’t expect to need medical care. I also have some financial means. But not long after I signed up I realized that was pretty stupid thinking. Turning 45 this year, active (guess I could break a bone for once) so maybe some major costs could occur and it was shortsighted thinking not to pay a little more each month for a Silver or Gold plan.
That will be what I am doing early AM Saturday.
BTW: I am sure Richard will break these numbers down today and tell us a lot more insightful nuggets, but these number IMHO are staggering. If this was a Republican plan they’d be blanketing TV saying they have saved the world. We should be as well. I wasn’t so sure how this plan would work. I really wanted single payer, but alas it is in fact working!
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): Sorry to hear and do understand how bad you feel but is this really the place to post that considering the subject?
Here in land down under, our asshole of a PM has contracted the issue/job out to private enterprise to friends of the Liberal (not) party. Asshole, sorry I repeat myself.
(this is an opinion piece rather than news, couldn’t find the news piece)
The Ancient Randonneur
And as an encore, Mr Kurtz will resolve the Katy Perry-Taylor Swift feud to bring us “peace in our time”!
Will the freak out of the 2016 election be zombies or vampires?
In an article, Cuts in Military Mean Job Losses for Career Staff the NY Times reports that the US Army has returned to the business of mistreating those whom they so often make an emphatic point that we should honor.
He will be “retired” as a sergeant.
Yes there needs to be personnel cuts, but why the kick in the gut of a demotion upon retirement? The money saved would be a rounding error in the budget. Did the White House sign off on this? I twice voted for this team, in part, to put a stop to the shitty way soldiers were being treated – to put an end to the notion of Disposable Heroes.
Christ, I am mad.
The article doesn’t make it clear, but it does not seem like that’s a new rule. The article also insinuates that higher ranking officers may be saving their own ass by RIFing lower ranking officers.
Iowa Old Lady
@Warren Terra: I also like the word “finally.” Like we battled it for a decade and finally, FINALLY we won.
@Keith G: Wow. My father was not active duty. A guy with a PhD in military history that worked in planning wars, civil service for the DoD, Army War College, and later the Air Force. When I rant why can’t we train Afghans or Iraqis to fight for themselves he can tend to agree, but will note that our military is good at training people in rapid fashion because we HAVE CAREER military people with 30+ years service. That the enlisted, not the officers, are the core of our military because they actually know what they are doing because they have done it before, often more many decades.
@Baud: Genital warts, and Compound W made available only through Obamacare.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): Dude, that sucks. There was nothing you could do, but that doesn’t matter, really. I’m fighting tears putting myself in your shoes. You drew the short straw today.
Not that it matters at the moment, but it was not your fault. Love on some beasts when the opportunity presents.
Sad thing is, that a majority of people would not have even noticed.
Any theories? :-)
Iowa Old Lady
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): I ran over a squirrel once with my kid in the car, no less. It was awful. I still feel bad.
@Baud: They had hard dick and bubble gum and they ran out of bubble gum.
@Iowa Old Lady: I did that too once taking my kid to school. She was distraught. I was convinced the squirrel was suicidal – he waited for my car to pass and then darted under the wheels.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Morzer: What? They think talking down to a woman is the way to get their attention? ROFL
Is anyone really covering Ebola news anymore in post-midterm America?
@beth: I’ve been lucky on this point, outside of a possum (which of all the animals in the world I don’t have much love for) I’ve not hit an animal. I am sure if I hit an animal, especially potentially a house pet it would hit me pretty hard.
I am just happy the family of bunnies that live in these dense shrubs in the front of my house seem to be masters at not getting hit by the cars that drive way too fast a few yards from their homestead. I also expect to see one dead in the road and it has never happened (fingers crossed).
@raven: I don’t have really anything to add insightful other then wow. My father almost always worked with officers, colonels and generals really, and I can report more than a few were very, very smart. But a lot he couldn’t stand and felt were clueless.
dance around in your bones
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): Shit happens.
The best (and only) little dog we had – chihuahua mix, incredibly smart – lived with us in a cab-over camper for about a year with our rather large shepherd mix.
One day Vatito (as we called him) ran out across the road to chase a bicyclist and a car behind the bicyclist ran over him.
Dead as a doornail.
The car people stopped, but we just waved them on, because really, what could one say? We carried his tiny body up to the foot a a Jesus statue (like in Rio de Janiero) that some nutcase had erected right across the street from us. It seemed fitting.
I’ve never cried so hard in my life. So, whenever y’all pass K48 in Baja and see that cheesy Jesus statue, think of my little awesome dog Vatito.
dance around in your bones
We post all kinds of shit in any topic. Often it’s the only thread active at the moment,
And the party that was screaming ‘Ebola Ebola we are all going to die’, now is opposed to the 6 billion dollar funding request for treating Ebola patients in West Africa. But then no surprise there is there.
They are also cranking up opposition to the carbon agreement with China. It will cost jobs according to Orangeman, not that he cares about jobs other than his own. What amazes me is this is a ‘two-fer’. The US invests in clean energy technology and you get the jobs in the new industry and clean air. Sure it will mean the loss of jobs among coal miners but there will be a bunch of new jobs in the wind turbine industry. As long as there are training programs and financial assistance for those impacted in the coal industry (and I mean the miners not the Koch Brothers*) then I don’t see a problem. The US economy transitioned from the horse and buggy/blacksmith era to the automobile age so we can do it again. I suspect that with these GOOPers they would have passed ‘protect the horse’ legislation in 1890.
And just to prove that you can’t teach old dog new tricks, the GOOPers are talking about a government shutdown over immigration. The last shutdown worked out so well for them. Oh wait it did work out for them didn’t it. One more government shutdown and they will gain veto proof margins in Congress and maybe even the White House in 2016.
• Yes I know the miners will get the shaft and the Koch’ s a big pay day but one can dream. And yes the pun was intentional
@D58826: I saw a stat the other day. Coal is .8% of the economy of Kentucky. I ranted about Obama coming out for “clean coal” in my state, downstate Illinois. And how he had to do it. People informed me although billions in revenue, a small part of the state’s income. A much smaller percentage of employment. I didn’t know those things.
As you noted we are not looking at putting hundreds of thousands out of work. Not massive parts of a state’s income. We should be able to offer retraining, move out of those jobs over years, not in a day, and ease into a “new” future. This IMHO isn’t the end of the world the Republicans would like us to think. Maybe for their donors, but not the workers nor you or me.
J R in WV
I suspected from the beginning that we were hearing about a fraction of the Ebola cases in Africa. I knew for a fact that the moment after voting was over the Republicans would be completely over any mention of or spending a penny on Ebola.
The Republicans would really be happiest if Ebola ran from coast to coast in Africa, closing out the problems of warlords with armies of sociopath children (not THEIR fault, taught to be that way by violent and abusive training!) and people who think they should share in the natural wealth of their land.
Gold, oil, diamonds, tea and coffee and all the other crops that depend upon tropical climate, all the other things worth money and food in Africa. Things the Republicans want for free!
Help Africans with a deadly horrific plague? What drugs are you on? They won’t help black folks right here in America with so much as a good education with vocational training to work on HVAC units or plumbing systems!!
Republicans want to close out any federal aid system that shows any signs of assisting (for example) black farmers in rural America, or black youth in regular cities all across the country. One major reason they hated the prospect of Health Care Reform is that any such program was doomed to help black people too.
Another reason the Republicans hate Social Security is that it helps black people too!
So wholesale death in Africa doesn’t make Republicans want to help put a stop to it, it makes them sleep better, thinking as they drift away that one of their major problems might solve itself. This might change, might, I say, mind you, if cases started showing up in white-owned countries, instead of Darkest Africa.
But it would probably only change for the 21 days it would take for everyone infected to die in a camp, and then would be forgotten again.
@Tommy: There are a number of things that would make everyone’s life better with some advanced planning. Every year there is a panic as the oil industry switches from refining gasoline to refining home heating oil and back again. It has been happening for years and its impact on pricing largely depends on when the temperatures actually start to change as opposed to when they are normally expected to change. Way back in 1973 if the country had implemented a policy of banning the use of home heating oil in all new construction we could avoid this ritual and reduce our need to import Middle Eastern oil. The 25-30 year plan would be to ban oil in new construction and with incentives and tax rebates convert the existing stock of oil furnaces to gas/electric or propane. People would do the conversion as the old furnace wears out and the oil distributors would have plenty of time to retire or retool their business. Heck they would have a lot of oil furnaces to replace so it’s not like they would have to go out of business the day after the plan was passed into law.
The thing is we don’t do ‘planning’ anymore. You know SOOOOOOaLISM
Of course as a country, what we do so well is screw people. If SCOTUS, as expected, guts ACA then:
Now granted the worst premium increases are in the reddest states, so maybe its poetic justice but we will have death panels, just not as envisioned by the Saga of Washilla.
Oh M– I am so sorry! I can imagine how you feel — it would definitely ruin my day…
This. And ISIS!!!!
It was intentional and spearheaded by the media. Goal:Get out the scared old white people and put uncertainty and self doubt in the Democrats who would obediently stay home. This was abetted by a few Democratic “leaders” criticizing O on ME policy and Cuomo’s and other Governors shenanigans. Miserable sons of bitches…
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): So sorry. That would ruin anyone’s day. I’ve just hit a bird once or twice while driving, it’s like a dark cloud over the day.
Perhaps it was part of a feral litter. /sigh Maybe you could donate a few bucks to the local feral spaying clinic to make you feel a little better? Of course, I know you just moved, and may not have spare money; you could put a reminder in your calendar for after those bills clear.
PS on an oddly lighter note, I recently watched Dreyer’s Passion of Joan of Arc. Wow. Also, clearly pre-code as it had a picture of a woman breastfeeding in it. It was kind of shocking, which shows how much the code changed our viewing assumptions even today. (Which reminds me, I got to pick up Night Nurse. That was your rec. right?)
Thanks, everyone, for the sympathy. There wasn’t anything we could have done but I don’t think I’ve ever run over an animal in 30 years of driving, and for it to be a kitten to boot! I waited around for an open thread but this was the closest one that showed up.
Also, Tenar is correct that it was almost certainly feral. Kauai is still quite rural and they have a lot of feral and abandoned cats. G found the website of a local organization that manages feral colonies and adopts out the ones they can, so we’re going to make a donation once we’re back on the mainland.
IIRC, Dreyer originally wanted it to be a sound film, but he couldn’t get enough financing. Technically, the Hollywood censorship code wouldn’t have applied to him because he made the film in Europe, but most of the European countries adopted similar censorship rules that didn’t get lightened until the end of WWII.
And you will get a glimpse of an obviously breastfeeding mother or two in “Night Nurse” — the clip is on my blog.
Funny you mention that. Groups associated with the Koch brothers have started targeting the wind energy business again, right in the wake of the election.
Cute piece of sabotage. When right wingers come out against a tax cut in the energy industry, you KNOW that there has to be some dirty politics going on.
You have to love the idea of groups called “Americans for Prosperity” and so on advocating for policies that will cost jobs and submarine an emerging industy …
dance around in your bones
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): OMG!!! Breastfeeding!!!
Like it’s never happened in the world :) Why are Americans so shamed by the basic function of breasts? I remember being in Amsterdam after we had our baby, and my breasts were humungous. Some guy made a comment about them and I was SO offended! I said “These breasts feed my baby, and I would thank you for not sexualizing them right now, you twerp”.
Gawd knows, breasts are loved for so many other stupid reasons. Although they do give me pleasure at certain times ;)
dance around in your bones
Even in the wonderful movie St. Vincent, when Naomi Watts whipped out her tit to feed her newborn, Melissa McCarthy rushed over to cover her breast with a blanket, saying “It’s kind of chilly in here, isn’t it?” to keep her quite mature 11 yr old son from seeing the boob, even though he had been in titty bars with Bill Murray.
I don’t get it. It’s quite common in other countries to see women breastfeeding. Why ‘Muricans so anal??!!